Monday, December 1, 2008

The GOP's McCarthy Gene

An Op-Ed gets written.

But there is another rendition of the story of modern conservatism, one that doesn't begin with Goldwater and doesn't celebrate his libertarian orientation. It is a less heroic story, and one that may go a much longer way toward really explaining the Republican Party's past electoral fortunes and its future. In this tale, the real father of modern Republicanism is Sen. Joe McCarthy, and the line doesn't run from Goldwater to Reagan to George W. Bush; it runs from McCarthy to Nixon to Bush and possibly now to Sarah Palin.
I think he may be onto something.

And if the history of political parties is any arbiter of future trajectories, a party starved of ideas finds encouragement in division, baseless yet vehement bastardization of opposition, and bear hugging bat-shit crazy. In other words, McCain/Palin's campaign, only louder and more unhinged.

If the GOP leaders belligerently hang onto the current incarnation, Ron Paul will be the most "sane" voice coming from the party four years from now. You heard it here first.

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